From January 12th through March 9th the Park City Library hosted a display of my Ikebana creations paired with some books they ordered especially for this project. It was a wonderful opportunity to share my passion for Ikebana with a wider audience and hopefully introduce this unique Japanese art to a wide audience who may have never been exposed to it before.
From a personal perspective, it was a valuable learning opportunity to design for a certain space, season and theme, and especially to see how long the materials could last. I had to adapt as I went along as it became evident that a two week period was really not possible to keep the materials alive- half way through I switched to once a week and tried to get in in-between as well to refresh the arrangement.
Each week I chose a different written passage to complement the arrangement- these ranged from haiku to writings by Sofu Teshigahara (Sogetsu Ikebana founder) to western poets. One of my favorites was a haiku that a friend composed especially for my arrangement (thanks Billy!).
Although this was done on an essentially anonymous volunteer basis it had great value to me as a learning experience and it was especially rewarding that someone who saw the display but had never been previously exposed to Ikebana sought me out and ended up coming to one of my Ikebana classes.
Alrhough the project has come to an end, there is an open door to do something similar again in the future. I am grateful for the support of such a wonderful library that actively promotes the arts in service of community.
Lara Chho was raised as a global citizen, living all over the US and Africa as a child and youth, and living in Japan from 1998 and 2013 where she met her husband and raised her 3 children. She has been exploring clay since 1992 and flowers since 2006. She is passionate about using the arts as a means for self-discovery and for building community.